|Written by M. Tatum|
Make your conference calls more productive by planning your agenda ahead of time. Here are some simple tips to make things move along quickly and efficiently.
Things You'll Need:Computer Word Processing Software
Using your word processing software, make a list of all the action items that you want to address during the conference call. At this point, simply jot down every action item as it comes to mind.
Organize the action items in order of priority. Here, you can apply one of two strategies. One approach is to place all items that can be handled quickly first, saving items that will require more discussion for later in the call. Alternatively, you can address difficult issues first and save the quicker items for the end of the call.
Assign time values to each action item. Be realistic. If you think a particular action item will take twenty minutes, then assign twenty minutes to the item.
Total the minutes assigned to all action items. Compare the total minutes assigned to the amount of time you want to devote to the conference call. If the total minutes assigned are less than the projected duration for the conference call, you are in great shape. If not, go back through the items and either put off non-critical items for a later conference call, or try to shave a few moments off some of the action items.
Set the agenda aside for a day. This will give you a chance to review the action items with fresh eyes. Make any last minute changes or corrections that you deem necessary.
Distribute the finished agenda to all attendees before the conference call. This will provide everyone advance notice of what will be covered and allow them the chance to prepare their remarks and questions.
Tips & WarningsKeep to your agenda! If an action item elicits more discussion than you expected, consider scheduling a later conference call to address that issue in more detail. Avoid allowing the discussion to drift off into tangeants. Every moment spent on a sidebar discussion takes away from addressing the action items you wanted to cover during the meeting.